Eritrea is a nation in the Horn of Africa. Its official name is the State of Eritrea. It is bounded on the west by Sudan, on the south by Ethiopia, and on the southeast by Djibouti. Eritrea’s coastline along the Red Sea is vast in the northeast and east. The country has an area of around 117,600 km2 (45,406 sq mi) and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and many Hanish Islands. The term Eritrea is derived from the Greek word for the Red Sea (Erythra Thalassa), which was first used for Italian Eritrea in 1890.
Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country with nine recognized ethnic groups among its six million people. The majority of people speak Afroasiatic languages, either Ethiopian Semitic or Cushitic branches. The Tigrinya make up around 55 percent of the population in these areas, with the Tigre representing approximately 30 percent of the population. There are also a handful of Nilotic ethnic minority who speak Nilo-Saharan. The majority of the inhabitants in the territory are Christians or Muslims.
The Kingdom of Aksum, which encompassed much of modern-day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, arose in the first or second century and converted to Christianity about the time Islam expanded over Egypt and the Levant. Much of Eritrea was ruled by the Medri Bahri kingdom in medieval times, with a minor area ruled by Hamasien.
The merger of separate, different kingdoms and sultanates (for example, Medri Bahri and the Sultanate of Aussa) finally resulted in the foundation of Italian Eritrea. Eritrea joined a federation with Ethiopia, the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea, in 1947. Following annexation by Ethiopia, the Eritrean War of Independence erupted, culminating in Eritrean independence following a referendum in April 1993. Hostilities between Eritrea and Ethiopia persisted, resulting in the 1998–2000 Eritrean–Ethiopian War and subsequent conflicts with both Djibouti and Ethiopia.
Eritrea is a one-party state with frequently postponed national parliamentary elections. According to Human Rights Watch, the Eritrean government’s record on human rights is among the worst in the world. These claims have been rejected by the Eritrean administration as politically motivated. Compulsory military duty necessitates lengthy, indefinite conscription periods, which some Eritreans seek to escape by leaving the country. Eritrea was likewise classified as having the least journalistic freedom in the worldwide Press Freedom Index, owing to the fact that all local media is state-owned.
Eritrea is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, as well as an observer in the Arab League alongside Brazil, Venezuela, India, and Turkey.